Fine Heirloom Sewing, Smocking and Hand Embroidery

"Baby will be well and smiling in little garments made by Mother, Auntie, Grannie and loving friends!"

Please join me as I teach the old fashioned techniques and skills needed to sew baby clothes. You will find lessons that start at the very beginning and take you step by step as we sew little baby clothes together. May you find much joy and pleasure in making them.
It's easy and it's fun!!

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Saturday, September 19

Miss Eula and the Wonderful Featherstitch!

 Jeannie and Miss Eula, September 2009

My friend Bunny and I had  fun today!  We went to visit Miss Eula.  Miss Eula is the fine lady who taught me the Old Fashioned Double Featherstitch.  This is the Featherstitch often found on antique baby clothes.  I have never seen instructions for it in any of the old needlework books and I have never seen it stitched on anything except antique clothing, that is, until I met Miss Eula.

 Miss Eula does the Featherstitch.  Notice how she holds the fabric over her finger.

The wrong side of the gown.  See the back side of the tiny stitches.

When I asked her what advice she would give stitchers, she said "You have to have patience".  She was very patient with me as I learned how to make this stitch.  It took me several visits with her before I learned it!!     She is showing Bunny.

Miss Eula told me she learned this fine sewing when she married in 1943.  Her Grandmother-In-Law wanted  her daughters (including her Mother-In-Law) to get together with her and sew.  She joined the sewing circle as a new bride and just about every day they went to each others home and made pies, tarts and sewed.   They sewed baby clothes for the New Orleans shops.  They made money to supplement their farm income and had a fine time together.

  Miss Eula holds a copy of her Mother-In-Laws design they sewed for shops.

The Featherstitch is such a unique stitch.  Every person works it just a little bit differently.  As Miss Eula says "It's like a signature, no two people did the same Featherstitch".

The Christening Gown she is sewing.
The handmade baby clothes are part of  the history of South Louisiana.
They are the treasures made by creative and skilled needlewomen.
Miss Eula is one of them.

Miss Eula holding up a Christening Gown.

I love the Featherstitch.  It is on most of the embroidery designs I do for babies.  The Old Fashioned Double Featherstitch has come alive from the past, to me.  I teach it in some of my classes and you can find it in my embroidery book.  All thanks to this woman, who is such an inspiration to me.


Martha said...

Oh what I would give to sit and stitch with Miss Eula! Just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful dear Miss Eula is! The gown she's working on is so lovely. It's so important for these sewing skills and techniques to be passed on to the next generation. Thanks for such a nice post, Jeannie! :)

Jan said...

We are so blessed with the Miss Eulas and Jeannies who continue to pass down these wonderful stitches. I had to smile when seeing what must be Miss Eula's machine. We don't necessarily need the most modern machines to create lovely heirlooms. The love of sewing, tiny stitches and fine fabrics and lace will do just fine.
Thank you for sharing your delightful visit!

Amy said...

I love the feather stitch. When my first daughter was born, I received a flannel blanket hemmed with feather stitch. It was beautiful.

Lisa said...

Even though I do not make heirloom baby clothes, I love reading your blog, Jeannie. I still get great sewing tips, and if I wasn't so hung up on aprons right now, I just might be making that little daygown. Your instructions and pictures are wonderful. I wish I knew a baby.

Miss Eula's gown is a masterpiece.

And BTW, aside from being obsessed with aprons right now, you also added pincushions to my list of fun things to make!

Sharon said...

Jeannie, what a nice little vignette about Ms. Eula. I have heard you speak on numerous occasions of her sharing the mastery of the featherstitch with you, so it was nice to connect the name with her face. Visiting your blogsite has become a pleasant and much anticipated addition to my week. Please stop by the shop to see us.
Love, Sharon

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